YOUR CAREER AS A
Fire scientists research to understand the physical and chemical processes controlling combustion and fire behaviour as it specifically relates to forest fires. Atmospheric modellers study the characteristics of weather, smoke, and particulate movement in the atmosphere. These skills can be vitally important to predicting the movement of forest fires in the landscape and to reduce their damaging potential on human life and property, including natural and planted forests.
$55,000 – $125,000
Degree + specialised postgrad
Some fieldwork may be required
Absence from home
Varies with job
No New Zealand universities currently offer degrees in Fire Science. You may be able to enter this field through a degree in geography, environmental science, physics, or climate change. It would require post-graduate (Masters or Doctorate) specialising in aerosol particle movement, three-dimensional modelling or fire behaviour.
Skills required include:
- strong mathematical and analytical skills
- excellent writing and presentation skills
See the Careers NZ website for more information about science careers in forestry.
Researchers can move into more senior research positions and management roles, and consultancy. There is also potential for an academic career e.g. at a university. There is often the opportunity to work overseas for varying periods of time.